6 January 2014

Macbeth 2006 (Wright)

Macbeth 2006
  • Director: Geoffrey Wright
  • Based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth
  • Cast: Sam Worthington, Victoria Hill, Steve Bastoni, Lachy Hulme, Matt Doran, Damien Walshe-Howling
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor/actress in:
    • Sam Worthington: Avatar
    • Victoria Hill: December Boys
    • Steve Bastoni: Matrix Reloaded
    • Lachy Hulme: Matrix Revolutions
    • Matt Doran: Matrix, The Thin Red Line
    • Damien Walshe-Howling: Ned Kelly
  • Why? Shakespeare
  • Seen: January 1, 2014

       Comparisons to Almereyda’s Hamlet, Luhrman’s Romeo and Juliet and The Sopranos are inevitable.  That’s a lot to live up to.
       It doesn’t quite manage. The concept is fine. Drug lords in today’s Australia fight for power. The witches, three young beauties posing in turn as violent nasty school girls, disco dollies and naked sex bombs, appear in Macbeth’s drug induced hallucinations. Within that framework Shakespeare’s story is followed quite faithfully.
       There are problems though.  There is an unnecessary and unfulfilled cop subplot that adds nothing.  All the good looking hunky thugs look alike, causing character confusion. The nudity of the witches and Lady Macbeth is embarrassing in its pointless sexism. A real  pity; Lady Macbeth is otherwise quite strongly portrayed.  And sadly, Shakespeare’s Tomorrow and Tomorrow monolog, second only to the To Be or Not To Be – maybe it’s equal! – is rattled off at the end without much expression and it omits the vital ending, “Signifying nothing.”
       It’s a shame that the film has these weaknesses because it has several strengths too. There is some subtle humour, mainly Macbeth’s clothes: a green shirt with flowery white embroidery, a velvet brocade suit, a black leather kilt.  Very vulgar kitschy cool. The Great Birnam Woods takes the form of an enormous timber lorry ramming the gates of Dunsinane.  The cast is good, especially Sam Worthington. The music is effective, especially the Beethoven.
       All in all, then, not a bad effort.
2  3/4* of 5


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